(Reuters) — Canada's job market stalled in October after two months of strong hiring, according to data from Statistics Canada, confirming expectations employment gains would ease to reflect sluggish economic growth.
The economy added 1,800 jobs in the month, even lower than the negligible forecast rise of 5,000 jobs in a Reuters poll, while the unemployment rate held steady at 7.4 per cent.
The country created 52,100 jobs in September and 34,300 in August. Due to the volatility of the data from month to month, analysts prefer to look at three- or six-month moving averages, which show monthly gains of 29,400 and 12,100, respectively.
Economists have argued that with the economy expanding at about a two per cent rate, employment growth of the magnitude seen in the previous two months was not sustainable.
In a positive sign, all the gains in October were in full-time positions. On the other hand, the number of workers in the private sector shrank while the public sector added workers to its payrolls.
The goods-producing sector lost a net 19,300 jobs, dragged down mainly by agriculture. The services sector created some 21,000 positions, with the biggest gains seen in educational services.
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